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CHAP. LXIII    SHAH ABBAS THE GREAT            257
two nobles quarrelled and a fight ensued, in which All
Kuli Khan, who was accompanied into the field by the
young monarch, was worsted. The horse of Abbas was
shot and he himself ra'n considerable risk, but the victors,
stopping the ^ pursuit, threw themselves at his feet, and
Murshid Kuli Khan became his guardian by force of arms.
As we have already seen, Khorasan had proclaimed
Abbas as Shah and Khudabanda had been unable to enforce
his authority in the province. Shortly afterwards, the
confusion consequent upon the death of Hamza Mirza
encouraged Murshid Kuli Khan to advance on Kazvin,
which he occupied. Khudabanda was then suppressing a
rebellion in Fars, and advantage was taken of his absence
to issue a proclamation that the houses and lands owned
by his soldiers at Kazvin would be confiscated unless the
owners returned speedily to claim them. This proclama-
tion destroyed the power of Khudabanda, whose army-
deserted him to return to the capital; and from this date
—Khudabanda either dying a natural death or being assas-
sinated—there was no opposition in Persia to the claims of
Shah Abbas, who shortly afterwards killed Murshid Kuli
Khan and thereby secured the reins of power.
The Turkish Invasion, A.H. 995-998 (1587-1590).—
The death of Hamza Mirza and the domestic troubles
that weakened Persia were turned to full account by the
aggressive generals of the Sultan. An armistice had been
negotiated by Khudabanda, but hostilities were speedily
resumed as the cession of the province of Karabagh was
demanded and refused. In A.H. 995 (1587) a battle was
fought near Baghdad, in which Farhad Pasha surprised
and defeated a Persian army 15,000 strong, after a
desperate struggle lasting three days. As a sequel to the
capture of Tabriz ,and to this success, Turkey annexed :
the western provinces of Persia, including much of Irak
Ajami, Luristan, and Khuzistan. In^ A.H. 996 (1588)
Farhad Pasha, uniting his forces with those of the
Governor of Shirwan, invaded Karabagh and captured
Ganja, which he strengthened by means of a hastily erected
wall and a garrison of 3000 men.
The position of Shah Abbas was one of great weakness
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